Thursday, 10 June 2010

Rare whale makes appearance off the coast of Kamchatka

A rare North Pacific right whale has been spotted off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East for the first time, said a local environmental official informed.

"The mammal, accompanied by humpback whales, was observed near the Kozlov cape," he said.

The North Pacific right whale is now extremely rare due to heavy whaling during the19th and 20th centuries . According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the North Pacific right whale is the most endangered whale on Earth, with the current population accounting of only 2,000. Before whaling, there were as many as 50,000 of them.

The spokesman said officials at a local nature reserve took samples of whale's skin using a crossbow in order to carry out genetic testing.

"The examination that has been carried out... proves that it was a Pacific right whale," he said.

He added that a dead North Pacific right whale was once found near the Lopatka cape off the Kamchatka coast

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